In an attempt to salvage his floundering campaign, Jeb Bush has released a new e-book of emails covering the full length of his time as governor of Florida. The book, which comes in at 730 pages, has full email exchanges from 1999 to 2007 and touches on subjects such as his brother's 2000 election, the 9/11 attacks, and his extensive correspondence with Florida citizens.
Bush's email dump isn't anything new. Back in February, he released hundreds of his emails, as a way to encourage Hillary Clinton to do the same. But his call for transparency may have gone a little too far — in the process of publishing emails, Bush also reportedly published the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of hundreds of Florida residents.
His new book, titled Reply All, is most likely a two-fold attempt to regain voter interest. On one hand, the GOP candidate is likely hoping to draw further comparison between himself and Clinton. Although Bush's emails are handpicked and don't include personal exchanges (much like Clinton's), the candidate may hope to gain points for transparency.
But on the other hand, the release of Clinton's emails has done wonders for showcasing the former secretary of state's humor and lighter side. Although many in the Republican Party hoped the emails would be damaging, many of the emails — which include details like Clinton's desperate need for NPR and ongoing battles with the fax machine — have made the candidate more approachable.
The problem, however, is if Bush seeks to emulate this phenomena, he maybe should have handpicked different emails. As Salon points out, the vast majority are excruciatingly dull. Even Bush's attempts at humor while compiling the emails further point out how dull the contents are. "I hope you enjoy reading about medical liability tort reform, because it was one of my top priorities for 2003," Bush writes. According to The Washington Post, this scintillating introduction comes on page 430.
Even the name, while likely chosen to invoke humor, is a little cringeworthy. "Reply all" doesn't necessarily invoke a warm, inclusive feeling — more often than not, it's accompanied by a feeling of sheer dread and humiliation when you accidentally respond to everyone on a chain email. But there are a few worthwhile moments within the book. From humorous to just awkward, here are some of the best moments in Reply All.
Emails From Mom And "Gampy"
Although the book is thin on personal exchanges between his family members, Bush does include two emails from his parents. One, from his mother, showcases her excitement over finally getting a Blackberry. "We are in the car going to hear the Oaks75 in Galveston and have a new toy. We love you. Mom," reads one email. Another from his father reads, "I love the photo of your swearing in. It is so good of you that I have gotten over my being cropped out by the photographer. Thanks a lot. Love to all, says your devoted, DAD."
Bush's response, "Thanks Gampy. I love you," is probably the best part of the book — not because of the sweet exchange, but because America just learned that George H. W. Bush has the best nickname.
The Perks Of Being A Governor
During a series of exchanges with editor Brian Crowley, Bush described some of the unexpected perks of becoming governor and living in the governor's mansion. According to Bush, these included the "verrrrrryyyyy good" food. He also described how "water pressure up here is great." But there were some downsides to the mansion. According to Bush, the "bathroom door is the smallest in Florida," and he had to do "a sideways twist to make it in." Poor Bush.
The Quest For Marco's Sword
Although the two are now competitors, once upon a time Marco Rubio was Bush's friend and protégé. How close were they? One email that Bush sent staffers in 2005 highlights the nature of their relationship. "I need to get a sword for marco [sic]." The sword was meant as a congratulatory gift for Rubio being named speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. But in explaining why he chose a sword, Bush gets a little weird. "I wanted to present to him a Chinese sword, since I was known to say from time to time, 'I am going to unleash Chang.' This meant I wanted to unleash a mythical power for conservative causes," Bush writes. "I did indeed find and give him a sword."
The Embarrassing Typo Exchange With Disney
One email email exchange included was from the aftermath of the September 2001 attacks. Michael Eisner, the CEO of Disney, had emailed Bush asking for information about whether Walt Disney World had been a target. Bush's reply, as relayed by Politico, is a typo disaster of epic levels. "I know of no evidence that Disney is a targete [sic]," Bush wrote. "I will follow up through our chennels [sic]. I troed [sic] to call you just give minutes ago on your portable."
Handling The Haters
The best insight into Bush's humor comes from his reply to a 1999 email from an extremely annoyed constituent. Annoyed by Bush's pro-life stance and support for the "Choose Life" license plates, one angry Florida citizen took to email to express his anger, writing, "If you have the guts to read your own email, let this sink into you brainless mind - $10 Million to fund your christian [sic] value ideas of sex eduction is outrageous! You can take that plan, long with your fetus license tags, & any other brainless ideas & STICK IT UP YOUR FAT A--!"
Bush's response was simple. "Have a wonderful restful day. You appear to need it."
Piano Teachers & Dead Alligators
CNN did everyone a favor by highlighting an exchange Bush had in 2006 with a 9-year-old girl named Clare. The girl was writing to see if the governor had ever taken piano lessons. According to Clare, she was currently forced into the lessons by her mother, but she hated them, mostly due to the fact that her teacher "smells of dead aligators [sic]."